This past Wednesday, the 18th, the community had the chance to gather in the Council Chamber and ask questions of the four candidates for seats on the Glen Rock Board of Education. The event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, and moderated by the LWV’s Anne Wolfe.
The candidates are:
- Megan Findley – A corporate strategist for a Fortune 500 company
- Edmund Hayward – The Director of Technology for Bergen County Technical Schools
- Theodore Jadick – A GR School Board trustee
- Rona McNabola – A former teacher and longtime BOE member
During opening statements, Findley said she would focus on safety, the well-being of the students, and communication and engagement, Hayward said the Board’s most important function over the next year will be to select a new Superintendent, and Jadick stressed the implementation of the 1-to-1 laptop initiative at the high school level.
On the search for a new Superintendent of Schools:
- Jadick: “We should look wide – in terms of geography – for the right candidate.”
- Findley stated the Board should look into hiring someone who’s a little earlier in their career than has recently been the case, so that that person can make Glen Rock their home for a longer period of time.
- Hayward said GR should not have a “green” superintendent – someone who’s just starting out.
- McNabola said the BOE should not “Settle to find someone as soon as possible”, and that “hiring an interim, with experience – such as we have now” could be the best way forward.
On the traffic study:
- Hayward: “The schools should be involved from the beginning…. It sounds like there’s been a problem with the process – of how to address this – and I think that needs to be resolved.”
- McNabola said it’s a Council-driven matter – although the BOE does have a role to play.
- Jadick stated the BOE should be a part of it the discussion, but “to spend money on it would be irresponsible, because we have no control.”
- Findley said Glen Rock “was designed to be a walking town, where kids walk to school. These days that’s no longer the case”, and there needs to be some outreach from the Board to parents to find out why that’s not the case.
On air conditioning in schools:
- Findley said the Business Administrator needs to come up with multiple options on fixing the problem, with costs and timelines for each.
- Hayward: “I don’t know if they can do it all at once, across the district – that’s a big-ticket item. If they have to do one school a year, that’s acceptable.”
- McNabola said the solution “Has to be done in one fell swoop…. If you do it one year with one company, another year with another company – you never get the same warranties, you never get it completed.”
On underage drinking:
- Jadick: The issue is “first and foremost a matter of individual responsibility”, and “a big part of what we need to do more of is educating the parents.”
- McNabola said “Enforcement has been more prevalent than I think I have ever seen,” and the problem can be one of the most effective areas for shared services.
- Hayward said alcohol, drugs, and mental health are one major topic and “we need a lot more education in that area.”
When asked whether Board members should be subject to term limits, McNabola replied “The answer that I would say is, of course – no” – with a smile. The other candidates agreed.